Give us your money!

This production is brought to you by the letters M and E. Me. I’m paying for it. I have a job — not a super-lucrative one and unfortunately one that qualifies me as “underemployed” — and the money that I earn from my job goes directly into the costs of the performance. Things like props, postcards, fliers, t-shirts, program ads, transportation for me back and forth to Orlando (turnpike gas is expensive!).

We’ve been very lucky so far. The plywood for our hurricane shutters was kindly donated by Fushu Daiko (South Florida’s premiere taiko performance group; check them out!). Our furniture was paid for by generous contributions from friends. I’m a good online shopper, and can get a really good price for postcards. The grocery props will hopefully be paid for by our senior executive producer (aka D-A-D). Pimiento cheese ingredients were covered by Cabana Boy.

But we still have outstanding expenses. The t-shirts cost money, but they look a helluva lot better than the iron-on transfer shirts I made a few years back. Also, if I figure in the cost of colored ink in my printer, the real shirts have a much lower price point. I need to have some posters made and get the programs printed out. I’m trying to go green (and thrifty) by keeping the programs as short as possible. You can check out this website for extended bios and photos.

This year, thank goodness, I am being billeted. My biggest regret from my last Orlando Fringe was that I wasn’t more involved: I wasn’t able to spend the entire two weeks in Orlando. I had hotel rooms for my cast (one for the girls, and one for the boys) for the nights surrounding our performances, and otherwise drove us all back and forth and back and forth, sometimes several times in a week. Our transportation and our lodging were the most expensive items in our budget, and believe me, we were not staying in classy places like the Holiday Inn. Let’s just say we were lucky that no one brought home bedbugs. Without a place to stay, I don’t think I’d be able to do this show; I am extremely grateful.

We’re also taking advantage of the interwebs and social networking in a big way. Because we can’t afford to run too many ads, we blog, we tweet, we post on Facebook, we send lots of emails. It helps a lot.

And now… yes, we’ve come to the portion of the post where I blush and stammer and meekly ask if you could spare a buck or two. Want to know how? Buy a ticket! Come to the show! Go to Orlandofringe.org and get your tickets.

Or maybe you don’t live in Florida, or just can’t make it to Orlando on May 21, May 22, May 23, May 25, or May 28. Buy a virtual ticket! Go to PayPal and send $8 (the cost of a ticket) to raketheaterATgmailDOTcom. Better yet, bring a virtual date, and send us $16!

It’s possible that you’re like me — underemployed — or worse. You’ve got no money to spare. Brothers and sisters, I feel your pain. But you can still help! Spread the word. Tell your friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances to come to the show. “Like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. We’ll keep using these tools even after the production is over, so you’ll be getting a really good ROI.

You know, even during a storm, there are rainbows. If I weren’t underemployed, I wouldn’t have the flexibility and freedom to spend two weeks in Orlando, seeing other shows and supporting my fellow artists. I wouldn’t have been forced to get creative with some of our props and I wouldn’t have the time to write this blog. I wouldn’t be having a really great time working with the rest of my team.

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